Today, on its first day of full UK release, I went to an afternoon showing of the film “Suffragette”. I emerged into the Salisbury sunshine two hours later – blinking, stunned, slightly tearful, emotionally overwhelmed and full of gratitude for my life as a 21st century woman.
A life in which I can earn and use my own money to make payments; a life in which seven year old girls don’t start work in a laundry; a life in which women don’t lose their children or their maternal rights in the event of marital breakdown; a life in which no means no and rape is a crime; above all, a life in which both women and men have the right to vote and make their voices heard.
“Your laws mean nothing to me, I’ve had no say in making the law.”
This is an astonishing piece of film making and one which I think does great credit, not only to the memory of the women who gave up so much so that we have the right to vote but also to the largely female cast and crew: director Sarah Gavron, scriptwriter Abi Morgan and particularly Carey Mulligan, who gives a brilliant and, I hope, award winning performance as laundry worker Maud and tells us that –
“All my life I’ve been respectful, done what men told me” but who evolves through a series of life changing events and activities to scornfully ask of the policeman who torments and hounds her:
“What are you going to do – lock us all up? We’re in every home, we’re half the human race.”
Watch the trailer, then go and see it for yourself. And then, women everywhere, please use your vote every opportunity that you can.